TNSM Flexing its Muscles - Military Response Imminent
Supporters of militant leader Maulana Fazlullah participate in a rally in Amandari, a small town in Swat, on Wednesday. The army has deployed 2,500 troops to the remote valley in the country’s northwest to combat followers of the militant cleric who repeatedly calls for Taliban-style rule. ap
Fazlullah vows retaliation as army mobilised in Swat
By Athar Saleem: Daily Times, October 24, 2007
MINGORA: Security forces continued mobilising and taking positions at strategic points to guard this city against militancy as a rebel cleric vowed on Wednesday to retaliate against any attack on his interests, witnesses and officials said.
“On the request of the NWFP government, additional Frontier Corps troops have been deployed in Mingora, Saidu Sharif and Matta,” said a military statement. Military spokesman Major Gen Arshad Waheed told AP that 2,500 army troops have been sent to the Swat valley. He said security forces were manning checkpoints across Swat to “ensure that Fazlullah and his band of criminals stop terrorising innocent civilians”.
The entry and exit points to the district were closed for more than 12 hours on Wednesday, officials said. Schools and most shops were closed. Addressing a rally at the Dheri Ground, Fazlullah said that if an operation were launched, his force would “kill many people”. He told supporters via his radio station if an operation is launched, they should attack security forces and members of a Swat jirga that met the caretaker chief minister in Peshawar earlier this week to “sanction the operation against my followers”.